Evaluating Assistive Technology in the Education of Persons with Severe Disabilities
By Joe Reichle
The article I read was about the difference and benefits of high tech assistive technology
compared to low tech assistive technology. High tech applications are usually more expensive than low
tech, but the high tech applications have more functions and usage. High tech is considered more useful
in teaching a student, in most cases. For example, “with low incidence populations, applying within-
subject altering treatment designs replicated across participants may represent an initial step in
providing evidence base for the relative efficacy of some “high tech” applications compared to their
“low tech” counterparts.” Since high tech has more functions, the student is able to do more, and is able
to use the high tech application for much longer. Some learners find that high tech equipment can be
more motivating as well, pushing them to achieve more through the technology.
The down side of high tech applications is the price. The article says that most schools cannot
afford the technology most students need. So the only way that students can receive these appliances is
through private insurance companies or through family payment. Low tech appliances, although they
are not as technologically advanced as high tech, still play a major role in students with disabilities lives.
Since the school can usually afford the low tech appliances, students are able to have what they need at
all hours, even at home. Also, students may find the high tech equipment to be too distracting, which
tends to lead to teachers and administration leading them towards the low tech appliances.
Reichle, J. (2011). Evaluating Assistive Technology in the Education of Persons with Severe
Disabilities. Journal Of Behavioral Education, 20(1), 77-85. doi:10.1007/s10864-011-9121-1